EU Center Newsletter Summer 2011


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Newsletter of the European Union Center of Excellence
at UC Berkeley

Directors’ Note

Dear EU Studies Community,

Welcome to the sixth issue of the semiannual newsletter of the European Union Center of Excellence at the University of California, Berkeley. We had a busy spring semester, replete with scholar conferences, workshops and lectures; visits by foreign dignitaries; student awards, and the 9th annual undergraduate research conference on the European Union. Berkeley was also host this year to the annual EUCE Director’s meeting, in March 2011. 

In this issue we highlight news about our students. Three UC Berkeley undergraduates attended the Claremont-UC undergraduate research conference on the European Union held at Scripps College. We bring you two anecdotal essays by participants Alisa Shekhtman and Dan Stepanicich, each of whom was also the recipient of a conference award: Ms. Shektman won the grand prize of a scholarship to the Jean Monnet Summer Seminar in Rome, and Mr. Stepanicich presented one of the ten papers selected for the conference publication. You may also find descriptions of the research projects for which UC graduate students won Center-funded predissertation and dissertation awards, and hear about new developments in the academic paths of current and past student award recipients. As part of our efforts to extend Center expertise beyond the campus and cultivate working ties with other institutions and individuals engaged in EU studies, EUCE codirectors Beverly Crawford and Jeffrey Pennington have participated in a variety of outreach activities this past year. They both served as panel discussants at the undergraduate research conference in April, 2011. Beverly Crawford traveled widely, giving talks on the Euro-Med Partnership, the EU and the Middle East, the EU and the Arctic, and the transatlantic relationship at institutions throughout Europe. She also taught two modules on the European Union in a course on theories of political economy, and wrote an essay on US and European support for the revolutions in the Middle East, which was published in the UC Berkeley Blog on May 3, 2011. To read the article, go to the link in Faculty Publications.

In Spring 2011, five conferences sponsored by the Center explored themes ranging through EU immigration policies, the impact of China’s rise on the EU and the history and cultural dynamics of beverages in Europe. In February 2011, the Center held its third annual teacher workshop, focusing this year on food regulation policies in the EU and US. We were also pleased to host visiting dignitaries — Dr. György Szapáry, Hungarian ambassador to the United States; and Ambassador João Vale de Almeida of the European Commission — and present a panel discussion on the crisis of the Euro featuring three UC Berkeley economists and Director of Brueghel, Jean Pisani-Ferry. A complete listing of our Spring 2011 program may be found here

As always, we invite you to visit our website for the latest up-to-date information about EU Center activities and research, extended reports on individual events, and funding opportunities. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact the EU Center directly by e-mail at or by phone on (510) 643-4558. We look forward to seeing you at our upcoming events! 

Beverly Crawford 

Jeffrey Pennington 

Student Reports from the Claremont-UC Undergraduate Research Conference on the European Union


Alisa Shekhtman

In April, I attended the Scripps-UC undergraduate research conference on European politics in Claremont, CA. The conference was a two-day event which brought together over 60 undergraduate students from across the country, based on a common interest in European politics. Each delegate to the conference submitted a 12-page paper to the conference and gave a presentation in one of six panels, which were grouped thematically and included a wealth of topics, from defense policy to pan-European efforts at sustainability to the role of identity politics in Europe. 

While last year's conference included a relatively large contingent from Berkeley (six out of about 50 delegates), this year's group was smaller — Dan Stepanicich, Margarita Chudnovskaya, and myself. The remaining delegates came from universities as far as Florida, Washington, D.C. and even Germany, each with their own background and approach to studying EU politics. Throughout the day, we were able to listen to each other's research presentations at the formal panels, and received valuable feedback from both peers and professors on our methodologies and results.

The highlight of the conference was the opportunity to meet like-minded, interesting people who are all passionate about European politics and each have their own ideas to share. In addition to learning a great deal more about the EU, I also learned a lot about my fellow delegates and what drew them to their research projects, which ranged from an ethnographic study of Irish IRA ballads to a literary analysis of the integration of North African immigrants into French society. Some of the best moments of the weekend were between panels, when the delegates discussed everything from European demography to election results over lunch and dinner in the Scripps cafeteria.

Another draw of the conference were the prizes offered by the Claremont and UC Berkeley EU Centers of Excellence. This year the top 10 papers submitted to the conference were published in the European Union Center of California's Conference publication, while three students also won a 7-day trip to tour the European Commission and Parliament in Brussels. The grand prize was a scholarship to the Jean Monnet Summer Seminar in Rome, a two-week intensive seminar which brings together a small group of students to study European institutions and foreign policy at the Tor Vergata school. Two students from UC Berkeley were among the winners — Dan Stepanicich's paper on European defense policy was selected to be published, while my paper on the European Court of Justice received the top prize. In addition to the scholarship, both the Claremont EU Center and the UC Berkeley Institute of European Studies generously offered to cover my travel costs to and from the seminar. 

I am looking forward to the summer program enormously, because it promises to be a longer version of the conference itself — the opportunity to study European politics with a diverse group of students, whose different backgrounds and interests all combine to create an amazingly broad, deep pool of knowledge and a supportive, vibrant community of scholars.

Dan Stepanicich

This year’s Claremont-UC Undergraduate Conference on the European Union provided an excellent opportunity to further explore the many important issues surrounding the EU and European integration. Prior to the conference I had just finished my senior thesis on European defense integration. I concluded that European defense and security integration had significantly increased over the past twenty years. Over the course of the research I was able to explore implications for national policies and the transatlantic relationship. After spending a year researching the intricacies of the EU’s military policy I wanted a forum to present my research and learn what other students have researched on the subject.

Many of the papers presented at the conference were related to aspects of the EU’s foreign and security policy. It was fascinating to talk to other students with a similar passion and interest in the EU. In particular I was able to compare my research with other similar projects some of which came to different conclusions. Also I was able to explore issues outside my area of expertise. One panel I attended explored the future of the Euro and the impact of the financial crisis on European integration. Over dinner I listened to other participants discuss their findings on immigration and social issues. Due to the often technical complexity of the EU and European integration, the conference provided the rare opportunity to discuss these complex issues at a highly advanced level.

News from our Students

Elizabeth Carter, PhD, candidate in the Department of Political Science, received EUCE Dissertation Fellowships for 2009-10 and 2010-11. She was also granted a Dissertation Finishing Fellowship from the Travers Department of Political Science at UC Berkeley for Spring 2012. In Spring 2011, she was a Visiting Fellow in Italian Studies at Collegio Carlo Alberto. In February 2011, she presented a paper titled “Comparative Wine Production in France and Italy: European Regulation in National Perspective” at the Georgetown University EU Graduate Student Conference, and was a guest speaker at the EUCE’s 3rd annual Teacher Institute, entitled Foodways in the European Union and United States. In June 2011, she gave a paper titled “The Politics of Wine Production: France and Italy in a New Market Context” at the Council for European Studies (CES) in Barcelona, Spain; and in September 2011 she plans on speaking about “The Production of Quality: Comparative Wine Politics in France and Italy” at the American Political Science Association (ASPA) in Seattle.

Zoe Chafe received a 2009-10 EUCE Predissertation Fellowship. In May 2011, she received her MA from UC Berkeley’s School of Public Health with a thesis titled Use of Incentives for Behavior Change in Environmental Health Interventions: Lessons for Improved Cookstove Dissemination. She also holds an MA from the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley, earned in 2010, and is now continuing to pursue a PhD in the same program.

Jennifer Dixon, PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science, received her EUCE Dissertation Fellowship for 2008-09. In 2009, she was also awarded a three-year research fellowship from the International Security Program, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, Harvard Kennedy School. She has been a Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School for the past two years, and will continue in that capacity until May 2012. She plans on filing her dissertation, entitled Changing the State’s Story: Continuity and Change in the Official Narratives of Dark Pasts, in August 2011, and this coming year will apply for tenure-track positions in political science. In March 2011, she presented a paper at the International Studies Association titled “Continuity and Change in Official Narratives of Dark Pasts.” She will present this paper again at the Eighteenth International Conference of Europeanists in Barcelona, in June 2011. In Fall 2011, she will give a paper titled “Mechanisms of Continuity and Change in Official Narratives of Dark Pasts” at the Eighth Workshop for Armenian/Turkish Scholarship, International Insititute of Social History and Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies in Amsterdam; and the American Political Science Association annual meeting in Seattle.

Elena Tomlinson, PhD candidate in the Department of Architecture, received her EUCE Dissertation Fellowship for 2010-11. In April 2011, she presented a paper entitled “From Postsocialist Bucharest to Europe: Heritage Revival and the Politics of Reintegration” at the Slavic Graduate Student Conference at Yale University; and a presentation titled “Imperfect Present: Architecture, Historiography and European Pasts in Postsocialist Bucharest,” at the 53rd Annual Conference of the Western Social Science Association. In May 2011, she gave a third paper entitled “Perpetual Beginnings: Urban Development, Unfinished Construction, and the Afterlife of Centralized Planning in Bucharest” at the Graduate Research Workshop on the European Union, held at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

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